Cary has lost one of its longest-serving advocates.
Glenn James “Jim” Adcock, who ran a local family insurance agency and helped establish the Cary Chamber of Commerce and Cary Rotary Club, died Feb. 15. He was 77.
Adcock was best known as part of a group of businessmen in downtown Cary – including Ralph Ashworth, Dick Ladd and artist Jerry Miller, among others – who for decades helped improve the town by leading events and serving on various boards and committees.
The Adcock Agency, established in 1949, is the second-oldest business in downtown Cary behind Johnson’s Jewelers, said John Miller Jr., a longtime friend and co-worker who bought the agency in 2008.
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“He was like George Harrison. He was the quiet Beatle,” said Miller, referring to Adcock’s status among local business owners. “Everybody knew him.”
Friends describe Adcock as a quiet but jovial man with a great sense of humor. He liked to impersonate Elvis – and was pretty good at it, Jerry Miller said. Adcock could sing and play the guitar well.
“I tell ya, one time he came, I think it was Ashworth’s 50th anniversary … and I had to look at him for a long time before I could tell it was him,” Miller said.
“He had me fooled for a few minutes,” he said.
Adcock was born in Kennebec, Maine, but his family moved to Cary in 1944. He graduated from Cary High School in 1955 and attended Wake Forest University for two years before returning home to help the family business after his father died.
Adcock was a founding member of the Chamber of Commerce when it reformed in 1962 and later served as its chairman. For the first few months, chamber meetings were held at Adcock’s insurance office.
“Jim was one of the granite stone pillars of building the business community,” said Howard Johnson, president of the Cary Chamber of Commerce. “He was very hands-on.”
“He would love what’s going on now” in downtown Cary, Johnson added.
In 1968, Adcock started and chaired the town’s first annual Fourth of July celebration and later directed several Miss Cary pageants, which no longer exist. He served on Cary’s planning and zoning board, town center area planning committee, cultural arts committee, fire advisory committee and town insurance committee.
He was also active in the Cary Visual Arts and Heart of Cary organizations. On Adcock’s 70th birthday in 2007, Cary Mayor Ernie McAlister recognized him in a proclamation.
“He’s just been involved with everything,” said Ralph Ashworth, owner of Ashworth Drugs in downtown Cary. “He was very devoted to the development of Cary.”
Adcock is survived by his wife, Mary Wagoner Adcock, and his brother Winton. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Cary Visual Arts or Transitions Life Care, a hospice center in Raleigh.